Texas is a special place in many ways. It has miles and miles of miles and miles. It has a storied history that many love, while others think it is an example of Texas narcissism. And, like the rest of the United States and the world, it has its share of blowhards, smart-alecks, and just plain jerks. Still, it has some of the most neighborly people in the South, unless you get on our wrong side.
Here, I want to share a little story of neighborliness I found amazing when it happened. Heck, I still find it amazing in a way.
In the winter of 2000, we bought a new house in a small development of semi-custom homes. This little neighborhood was at the far south end of a street full of large older homes and was to some degree isolated, with one way in and one way out, a ski-slope steep hill.
Less than two months after we moved, in February 2001, a winter storm paid us a visit. Our neighborhood might as well be somewhere on the Iditarod Trail in Alaska when that happens. There is simply no way in or out until the ice melts. In most cases, like the February 2022 winter storm, that is not a problem.
Everyone is prepared. The pantries are stocked, emergency supplies, if needed, are handy, and the kids are just waiting to be unleashed on our steep snow-covered driveways. Not to mention, our snow and ice-covered street. This time things were a bit different.
Two of us had important business meetings in other states that we could not miss. We were both flying out the same morning if we could get to the airport, which did not seem likely. Then the neighborliness kicked in.
The nearest snow shovel was likely somewhere north of Oklahoma City. Yet, there were gardening tools in every garage and a neighbor ready to wield them. A few hours after sunrise, our neighbors had chiseled a path up the hill so we could make our flights. When we drove out to head for the airport, the only thing missing from our little two-car parade was ticker tape showering down from the surrounding yards.
Twenty-one years later, some of the neighbors moved on, and new ones moved in, but the mood remains the same. We look out for each other, we help each other, and if one of our older neighbors, my wife and I included, needs a hand, three people, at least, seem to appear out of thin air.
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